Launched in 2005 by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, Slide originally focused on MySpace, offering photo-sharing software that allows users to create picture slideshows. But the company soon branched out into creating widgets for Facebook, and rocketed up the site's most-popular-apps chart with widgets like Top Friends and FunWall.
As one of the first developers to catch fire on Facebook, Slide also drew the eye of venture capitalists. It landed an attention-grabbing $50 million in a January 2008 financing round.
But Facebook attention is fickle, and Slide now is struggling to keep up with new wave of appmakers. Current alpha dog Zynga has a monthly active-user base of 211 million, according to traffic tracker AppData.com. Slide has fallen to #17 on the developer leaderboard, with 14 million active users.
That's still a lucrative place to be. Slide's apps traditionally target the younger set, but a 2009 app called SuperPoke! Pets found a surprising fan base in older women, says Keith Rabois, the company's executive vice president of strategy. Users can download the app for free, but some decorations and virtual gifts cost money.
Facebook members are willing to pay. The Pets app "has a very vibrant community," Rabois says, with 600,000 forum posts a day. "People want to look witty and cool on Facebook. We give them the tools to do that."